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Learning disability

Learning disability

Over 1.2 million people in England have a learning disability and face significant health inequalities compared with the rest of the population.

People with a learning disability, autism or both often experience poorer access to healthcare.

About 20% to 30% of people with a learning disability also have autism.

The term learning disability and intellectual disability are used by different people and organisations to describe the same condition. Learning disability is the official term used by NHS England and is used for a child or adult with a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities (Valuing People 2001 NHS England). The term intellectual disability is used by the World Health Organisation and some countries.

Our vision

Children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else to live satisfying and valued lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect.

People with a learning disability should have a home of their own within their community, be able to develop and maintain relationships, and have the support needed to live healthy, safe and rewarding lives.

Useful links

Education and skills development

Education and skills development are about all the ways healthcare staff can learn to do their roles to support people with a learning disability, autism or both. It includes how healthcare staff become trained, qualified and stay up-to-date.

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Staffing is about how we plan to make sure there are the right number of trained staff, now and in the future.

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